Many think that freelancing is all about working on their own preferred time when they feel best. Well, the fact is partially correct but the problem is that, many freelancers don’t get the gist of time management and they misuse this freedom. Ultimately, they fail to meet their deadlines, projects, create a bad reputation in the freelancing world, and hence find less clients for their work.
Freelancers need to understand the importance of time and the cruciality of freelancer time management. Freelancers, belong to any domain, can excel only if they are able to manage their time properly. Effective management is not an easy task. It doesn’t come naturally for many of us. But if you want to avoid working long hours for projects, pay special attention to this area. This post is exactly about what I discussed above. There are important points that’ll help you create an effective schedule and hence, will guide you through time management tips for freelance web designers.
A massive part of freelancing is about finding a proper schedule that fits freelancers’ needs. You need to create a schedule that allows you to get the necessary work done on time. Let’s take up some basic principles to achieve what we have discussed till now.
A. Respect Your Time:
Achieving success in freelancing is not a walk in the park. You have to value all your available resources, especially the very important time. As a freelancer, you would agree that time is your most valuable asset, so you need to start respecting it.
Respecting and valuing your present time is all about realizing the actual potential of freelancer time management; a desire to work hard to achieve greater efficiency and productivity with it. You could spend your time on the internet polishing your expertise, rather than wasting the same in playing video games. Now, I don’t want you to dedicate yourself 24 x 7 to your freelancing. But just think every moment if you could utilize it in a better way through time management tips for freelance web designers.
If you don’t respect your own time, others will do the same for you and you’ll have to work extra hours to complete your tasks. Respecting time will help you generate interest and a willingness to focus more on your freelancing campaign.
B. Find The “Required Time”:
Don’t approximate, find the required time needed to complete a task. You are an expert in your domain. So you know what you’ll have to do and what not you’ll have to do to complete a project. A designer needs to find the exact time it actually takes to do the tasks at hand. Work from previous projects and creation of sample templates can help you will this task.
Depending on the skill set and the working domain of different designers, this time length may drastically.
Finding the time management tips for freelance web designers will help you to to build up a daily timetable for your work plan.
C. Plan Your 24 Hours:
Planning is what it takes to achieve freelancing success. If you wake up after your sleep, thinking how you’d spend your time, it’s very likely that you’ll lose a lot of time & efficiency. It’s highly recommended that you plan your next 24 hours before going to sleep. This timetable will keep you focused on your track.
With a plan in your hand, you will never sit and wonder “what should I do next?”. You’ll have a schedule with prioritized chores in web designer time management with which you can quickly move on to the next task after completing the current one. This is very beneficial if you are handling multiple projects. This way you can complete your tasks one at a time, thereby keeping a track of all the projects, instead of getting confused.
With the help of time management tips for freelance web designers, make sure that your plan is flexible where you are able to make some teeny-weeny changes. Have some level of freedom where you can take time for yourself. Don’t go too far or too detailed with your planning. Have a general plan with some prioritized specific tasks which you can complete.
Just be sure that you are able to squeeze an impromptu movie hangout with your friends. To do this, have an “emergency/normal” time at the end of the day, where you can place a normal task which you do regularly, for example, researching on the internet, listening songs, reading books etc. These are the tasks which won’t affect your projects even if you fail to do them. Now, the important task that has been missed by your movie hangout can be placed in here.
D. Create Goals:
Goals are very helpful to keep you on track with your tasks. If you are working to achieve a specific goal, it is much easier to stay focused on the required task. Set minor, achievable goals for each day with the help of time management tips for freelance web designers, such as creating detailed layouts of your project or making the changes etc. Disintegrate your goals into your daily hourly tasks. Without goals, you’d be a person doing everything right, but having no idea where to go.
To make your work easier, you should also create weekly and monthly goals. Use a normal calendar hanging on the wall or you can also use a web-based calendar for this purpose. Various freelance time management tools are discussed in the next post.
E. Set Deadlines:
In freelancer time management, you will come across various clients who’d want to you to complete their project within a specific date. While some clients may have this criteria, but there will be others also, who may provide you more flexibility with your projects. You may be working on a personal project where you’ve set no real deadlines for yourself.
But it is highly recommended that every freelancer should set his/her deadlines for their specific work. By setting deadlines, you:
- Remain focused
- Know how time you require to complete a task
- Increase your efficiency
- Increase your repute in the freelancing world
- Come more closer to freelancing success
For projects that have no deadlines, set your own target dates of completion. Don’t be too harsh on yourself. Set realistic deadlines in time management tips for freelance web designers which enable you to be flexible with your work.
F. Work In Blocks:
Find a particular time duration in which you are able to give your best and then repeat that time duration throughout your total working time. For example, sheer work for 30 minutes, then a 10 minute break, and then again working for 30 minutes, 10 minute break and so on till your day working time is over. This “30 minute” duration is just an example. Its length can vary for different freelancers.
In your time management tips for freelance web designers include working in increments is very important to avoid monotony. It also helps you to track the exact estimation of how long you’ve spent on a project.
You should select a work duration in which you are totally comfortable working, hence you can give your best in this.
Getting used to this method is also beneficial for scheduling your project because you know how much you can do in “30 minutes”, thereby preventing you from over-booking yourself.
G. Set Your Day End Time:
One of the biggest problems amongst freelancers is that they tend to work extra long hours in order to get things done. They have no ending time which makes them careless with their work. They get relaxed and hence their efficiency decreases. This can help in some situations in which you need to work an extra hour to complete an entire project. But making this a habit is a big “no-no” for freelancing.
When you set an end time, you remain focused and your productivity increases because you know that you need to get “X” amount of work within your end time while following time management tips for freelance web designers. Therefore, you work hard and you work your best in order to achieve that. Instead of writing 3 lines of code/minute, you start writing 5. This is how your efficiency increases. Always have a set ending time and stick hard to it.
H. Don’t Be Too Harsh On Yourself:
Freelancers tend to take time management too seriously, although it is required, but the end result of such freelancers is that they become too harsh on themselves.
Follow time management tips for freelance web designers and don’t set unrealistic and unachievable deadlines. If you fail to meet your deadlines, you’ll lose your self-confidence and start thinking that you are not fit for freelancing. You become sad and anguished. But the real hidden fact is that you’ve set such an impossible target for yourself, which you can never achieve with your present working efficiency.
We all need to maintain a work/life balance and, trying to do too much work will lead to a lot of stress and scattered focus. With a more realistic work schedule, plan and deadlines, you will be able to work more efficiently.
I. Take Breaks:
As mentioned in the previous points, taking breaks is a very good strategy in freelancer time management. Have an activity for stress release where you can ease off your work pressure. Create habits that you can perform within this break. Go off to a gym, listen songs, play video games etc. Find some peace and relaxation with your breaks.
J. Time Tracking:
My final piece of advice to you is to track time of your activities while building web designer time management. By activities, I mean professional as well as the activities such as the time spent on email check, social networking sites etc. When you track your professional activities, you come to know of your weakness and areas of improvement because you know the amount of time that you spend on doing those activities. Time tracking will also help you keep a track of your freelance knowledge as you’d know the areas which consumes a considerable amount of time from your schedule. Here are some time tracking tools
Creating and managing time is a very important task in time management tips for freelance web designers. A freelancer needs to create a schedule that brings out the best in him. However, one can ultimately deduce an agenda for the same. The next post has some excellent time management tools that can help you create your plan.
But the biggest problem is to stick with your plan. People create time freelancer time management plans. They follow the routine for a few days and then give a damn to their plans. One needs to remain motivated to get the most of out of time management.
What tips did you follow for creating a time plan through time management tips for freelance web designers? What is the importance of time management in freelancing? Give your point of view via comments.
If you are looking for a step by step process to start your own freelance web design, you can visit our Complete guide to become freelance web designer to reach near targeted visitors. Please feel free to leave any comment you have in your mind.